Monthly Archives: December 2009

Merry Christmas after all…just a little bit late..

I’m impressed.  And pleased.  And my faith in the desire for big corporations to actually have HAPPY customers is restored:

In a testament to the power of the written word when it is aimed at the top executive in a company, I actually received a reply same-day from the CEO of Computer Manufacturer not-directly-mentioned in my prior post, saying that he would look into this matter immediately, and thanking me for bringing it to their attention.

And a subsequent e-mail from a very senior executive in the division that “owns” PCs, saying that she would assign a member of her team to investigate and resolve this issue.

And a follow-up message from that same very senior executive to tell me who on her team she had asked to handle my problem.

And a subsequent phone call from an “Executive Customer Experience” representative mid-afternoon on Christmas Eve to offer me the following resolution to my customer satisfaction issue:

  • $700 in electronic gift certificates good at the corporation’s e-commerce site
  • a pre-paid FedEx slip and fresh box in which to return the damaged and not-fully-functional computer
  • a really sweet apology

That is so much more than I was expecting.  Honestly, even when the CEO answered my e-mail, I was hoping for and would have been very, very pleased with a new front cover for the old PC and a free set of recovery disks so that I could fix the little problem.  Or, you know, a free upgrade to Win7 would have worked, too (hehehe!).  So.  I’m impressed, but I also know that I would never, ever have gotten this result had I not sent an e-mail to the very top of the corporate food chain.  Getting the attention of the biggest of the big at a company to say, “Your customer service sucks, and I’ll never buy from you again”, even when you are just Average Jane Consumer, is very effective (and I knew that, going in, that’s why I did it).  Sadly, that’s not an option that is always open to the average, everyday consumer.  I only had that option because I used to work there, so I know the CEO’s name and e-mail address.

But, anyway:

Merry Christmas to all

who celebrate this day! 🙂


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Oooo! A *real* FO! Here’s what I’ve been knitting:

A big floppy cowl of my own design, based on A Noble Cowl, knitted tightly in Blue Sky Dyed Cotton for added warmth (US 8 Needles)


Posted by on December 23, 2009 in Knitting and maybe some Crocheting, too


Merry Christmas from Customer (we don’t) Care – an odyssey

Below is the text of my e-mail to the CEO of a very large, very well-known computer manufacturer.  I used to work for this company.  The name of the company and some revealing details have been removed, since I don’t wish to be sued, and because including it would also clearly provide information about my real-life identity that has no place in a blog.

Mr. ______:

As a 10 year former employee of _____ and a long-time ________ customer, I would like to take this time to provide some feedback to you regarding my recent experience with ________ Customer Care.  I bear no ill will toward ________ for my lay-off, so please understand that this is not the source of my frustration.  (removed text to protect the innocent) It’s disappointing, certainly, but neither surprising nor a source of anger.  I am, however, the owner of four ________ desktops of varying ages and (removed text to protect the innocent), as well, all of which are still in operation and constant use in my home.  So, as a dedicated ________ consumer, I find my Customer Care experience to be an example of the opposite – an indication that ________ does not care about customers.  Let me explain:

About 10 days ago, my son’s _____ computer developed some issues, including one of the ever-popular ‘anti-virus’ worms.  Since the unit was also well-loaded with applications and appeared to have less disk space open than we preferred, I chose to do a full, destructive format on the PC to restore it to brand-new condition.  As a result of this, I experienced a Code Purple error.  After trading e-mails with Desktop Support for two days, the decision was made to ship the unit back to ________ for repair.  I would have been able to come to this conclusion much sooner if I had used Chat support, but Chat was not available on the day that I developed this problem.  Therefore, I was stuck with e-mail.

I returned to PC in ________-provided shipping materials on December 14th.  It was returned to me yesterday.  Imagine my surprise to open the box and remove my PC, only to discover that the case was irreparably damaged at the top, where the front cover joins the main part of the tower case – a chunk approximately 2″ x 1.5″ had broken off, and the top edge of the front cover, above the CD/DVD drive, was cracked and covered with clear tape in some wild attempt to mask the extent of the damage.  Now please imagine my further surprise to boot up the machine and find that an application called System Preparation 2.0 was coming up and requiring me to take action.

My next step was to attempt to connect to the internet to research this application.  I was not immediately able to do so, because the technician who completed the repair on my PC neglected to complete set up, so that the NIC card was not recognized.  Being an intermediate user, I did manage to get this problem resolved, but still had System Preparation 2.0 demanding my attention.  No matter which options I chose, the application returned upon re-boot.  Since it did not seem to be hurting anything, I continued downloading and installing three years’ worth of Windows and Microsoft updates, and performed an internet search to discover the nature of the application.  My research indicated that this application is part of the OEM process of installing Windows XP on machines, and should, if the process has been properly completed, be removed before the unit is released to an end-user.  Further, if I were to choose the wrong option, the result would be disastrous, rendering my computer unusable once more.  At this point, I contacted ________ Customer Care via the chat option.  After spending two full hours working with the Chat support agents Byron and Adrian, as well as a floor supervisor, the end result was that I was offered two choices to repair this problem:

  1. Attempt another full recovery, re-formatting the hard drive and using the recovery partition.  This option did not appeal to me, on the grounds that my last attempt resulted in a Code Purple error, as well as the fact that, if the operating partition does not have Windows XP fully and correctly installed, it stands to reason that the recovery partition is not correct, either.
  2. Alternatively, the floor supervisor offered me the option of purchasing new recovery disks from ________, since my existing recovery disks had resulted in Code Purple, and had been rendered useless by the re-tattooing at ________’s repair facility anyway.

Pardon me?  ________ failed to properly repair the PC, as mandated in a lawsuit, damaged the PC’s case, and returned that unit to me in a state in which I should not be using it, and now I have to pay ________ to resolve this problem?  I find this both baffling and unacceptable.  I immediately requested that my case be escalated to a manager, and am now waiting for a call from a “case manager” with ________ desktop support.  I do not expect, however, that I will obtain satisfaction from this escalation.  Call centers are my business, so I know the drill.  The case manager is likely to pat me on the head verbally, apologize profusely, and offer me no different solution than I have already been provided.  Disappointing, to say the least, and enough to ensure that my future custom will be geared toward anything but ________.  I can provide photographs of the damaged unit, the e-mail support chain, and the transcripts of my chat sessions for your review upon request.



Ugh.  I’m betting I don’t even get an auto-reply.  But I feel slightly better for having vented my spleen – twice!  😛


Posted by on December 23, 2009 in Knitting and maybe some Crocheting, too


Not the FO you were expecting

Well, I finally have some FO pics to post, but it’s not what you are expecting, I’m sure. You see, besides knitting (and surfing Ravelry and Facebook and reading), I have another hobby. I don’t get to use this talent often because:

  1. It’s not cheap to do
  2. There’s only so many of these I can use in my own home (I’ve run out of flat surfaces on which to place them!
  3. While I do enjoy it, it’s not quite as consuming as knitting – 15 minutes or so, and I’m done with the entire project!  Ugh…

So.  My not-so-dirty little secret?  For a Jewish girl, I have a rather unseemly fascination with making floral arrangements and wreaths and swags and other such ornamental decor for Christmas! Kind of silly, huh?  But there it is.  Or rather, here it is:

It’s for a colleague of my husband’s, who has been having a rough time the last couple of  years.  We ran into her this past weekend at Big Lots.  We were hunting for C9 holiday lights, and she was hunting to replace all sorts of things that she lost in an acrimonious break-up with her former fiance, which occurred after she’d been very ill for a number of months last year.  Now that she’s settled into a new home, she’s actually got a whole new set of health issues.  I just felt like she needed a pick-me-up for the holidays.  Hopefully, this will help a little bit.  Since she was hunting for a red and gold foil garland, that’s the main color scheme I chose.  What do you think?  Will she like it?  Husband will be delivering it tomorrow morning.  I’m quite sure that the other mechanics in the shop are going to provide him with an earful over this, but meh – husband can deflect and deal with it.  🙂


Posted by on December 7, 2009 in Life in General, Work and Home


A meme, from FB

Meme Tag!

Kissed any one of your Facebook friends? Yes
Been arrested? Never
Kissed someone you didn’t like? Probably
Slept in until 5 PM? No
Fallen asleep at work/school? Yes
Held a snake? NO!!
Ran a red light? Yes
Experienced love at first sight? No
Totaled your car in an accident? No
Been fired from a job? Sort of
Fired somebody? Yes
Sang karaoke? No, and the people in that bar were *really* thankful.
Pointed a gun at someone? No
Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t? Yes.  Parenting has this result – “Because I’m the Mom”, “Because I said so”, and “If all the other kids were jumping off a cliff or robbing a bank, would you do that, too?”.  😉
Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? Yes
Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Yes
Kissed in the rain? Yes
Had a close brush with death (your own)? No
Seen someone die? Yes.  My mother.
Played spin-the-bottle? Maybe once in junior high.
Sang in the shower? Of course!
Smoked a cigar? Yes, Swisher Sweets, when I was in college
Sat on a rooftop? No, I’m afraid of heights.
Taken pictures of yourself naked? Nope.  Not even when I was young and slender.
Smuggled something into another country? Nope. 
Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes? No.  Into a pond, yes.  Pool, no.  By the way, I didn’t know how to swim at the time (I was 16).
Broken a bone? No
Skipped school? Much too often
Eaten a bug? Not on purpose
Sleepwalked? How would I know?  😉
Walked a moonlit beach? Oh, yes!  Lovely memories…
Rode a motorcycle? Ridden, but not driven, yes.
Dumped someone? I suppose, yes.
Forgotten your anniversary? Nope.  There’s a reason I got married on April Fool’s Day.  😉
Lied to avoid a ticket? Nope
Ridden on a helicopter? Never.
Shaved your head? No, but I did cut my hair to about 1/4” once when I was in high school.  Long story, don’t ask.
Blacked out from drinking? No, but I probably came close more than once.
Played a prank on someone? Probably.
Hit a home run? Not a chance.  I suck.
Felt like killing someone? Nope.
Cross-dressed? Not really.  I like men’s t-shirts, though, and I had an “old tuxedo jackets and ties” phase in the Huey Lewis days of the mid-‘80s.  😉
Been falling-down drunk? Stumbling, yes.  Falling, down, no.
Made your girlfriend/boyfriend cry? Possibly. 
Eaten snake? No
Marched/Protested? No
Had Mexican jumping beans for pets? No
Puked on amusement ride? No, but I did throw up the *moment* I got off Space Mountain at Disneyland.  I *told* my date I was deathly afraid of heights…he learned the folly of disbelieving me when I ruined his shoes…
Seriously & intentionally boycotted something? Yes
Been in a band? No
Knitted? All the time!
Been on TV? No, but my 14 year old has.
Shot a gun? No
Skinny-dipped? A few times, yes.
Gave someone stitches? Nope
Eaten a whole jalapeno pepper? Nope
Ridden a surfboard? No, see above about being thrown into a pool.  I still don’t swim particularly well.
Drank straight from a liquor bottle? Beer, a few times, in college.  I don’t even like beer.  Ugh.
Had surgery? Yup, three times.  In fairness, two surgeries resulted in the births of my kids.
Streaked? Nope.  I don’t do “running”.  Plus, I have bouncy things that need to be dressed in something or it will hurt to run.
Taken by ambulance to hospital? No
Peed on a bush? Nope
Donated Blood? They never want me.
Grabbed electric fence? No!
Eaten alligator meat? Ewww
Eaten cheesecake? Yum!
Eaten kids’ Halloween candy? But, of course! 
Killed an animal when not hunting? Not unless you count having one euthanized.
Peed in your pants in public? Not since I was a little kid. 
Snuck into a movie without paying? Not that I recall. 
Written graffiti? Probably, when I was in high school. 
Still love someone you shouldn’t? No
Think about the future? Yes
Been in handcuffs? No
Believe in love? Yes
Sleep on a certain side of the bed? Always